December 30: So, Kiss Me Kate

Kiss Me KateOn this day in 1948, one of the most fun Broadway musicals of all time opened. Yes, it was 65 years ago today that Cole Porter’s Kiss Me Kate opened at the New Century Theater.

The premise of the show is simple: It’s opening night of a new musical based on William Shakespeare’s The Taming Of The Shrew. Of course, their are a few minor complications, like the two lead actors also being ex-lovers and two goofy gangsters trying to collect a major gambling debt. Of course, there’s plenty of screwball complications both onstage and off. Then of course, there are the songs which include some of Porter’s best like the smoking song and dance number “Too Darn Hot,” the actor’s lament “Another Op’nin’, Another Show and of course the clever “Brush Up Your Shakespeare,” which allows Porter to creatively pun on the title of nearly every Shakespeare play.

In 1949, Kiss Me Kate would win the award for Best Musical at the inaugural Tony Awards; and a later production would win the 2000 Tony for Best Revival of a Musical.

Of course there’s a Kiss Me Kate cocktail. It’s a nice sweet pink drink made from the honey-whiskey liqueur Irish Mist and the strawberry cream-tequila liqueur Tiequila Rose.

Kiss Me Kate

  • 2 1/2 ounces Irish Mist
  • 1/2 ounce Tequila Rose

Pour ingredients over ice in a rocks glass and garnish with a mint sprig.

Tomorrow: What are you doing New Year’s Eve?

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